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Successful Homesteading, Issue # 41, How Lard Got a Bad Rap
June 15, 2012

Issue #041, June 15, 2012

How Lard Got a Bad Rap

Marketing impacts our lives far more than we suspect, and usually not for the better. The people in my generation grew up thinking that relief was spelled R-O-L-A-I-D-S and that Coke was the real thing. It's frightening how powerfully advertising has swayed our basic beliefs, especially when it comes to the foods we eat.

According to Tyler Graham and Drew Ramsey, MD, authors of the book, The Happiness Diet: A Nutritional Prescription for a Sharp Brain, Balanced Mood, and Lean, Energized Body, lard was used as a cooking fat for centuries and worked extremely well. Many families kept a hog or two that they butchered in the fall for ham, sausage and lard for both soap making and cooking. But lard fell out of favor in the 1870s when Proctor & Gamble began experimenting with cottonseed oil, a waste product of cotton farming.

Before it is processed, cottonseed oil is cloudy red and has a bitter taste because it contains gossypol, a phytochemical that is toxic and can cause infertility, organ damage and paralysis, among other things. But Proctor & Gamble scientists discovered a chemical process to convert cottonseed oil into a new creamy white substance that resembled lard.

They pursued a marketing campaign unprecedented at the time, hiring the first full-time marketing agency and sending samples of their converted cottonseed oil – called Crisco – to grocers, restaurants, nutritionists and home economists. They passed out doughnuts fried in Crisco on the streets and also offered a free cookbook to women who purchased Crisco.

Because copywriters back then could make all kinds of claims in advertising, even if it wasn't true, Crisco was touted as healthier than animal fats for digestion and marketed it as “pure vegetable oil,” which made it sound like it ranked right up there with carrots for good eating. Nothing could have been further from the truth. By 1948, heart disease was officially recognized as a disease for the first time by the International Classification of Diseases, and infertility and other health problems were on the rise.

Considering the state of health of many people today, maybe it's time to forgo the modern “healthy” ways of cooking and return to the simpler foods our bodies were meant to handle, including the much-maligned and misunderstood lard.

What's New?

Dehydrating Peaches

Dehydrating peaches is one of the easiest ways to store a bounteous harvest. Learn how.

Catnip Tea

Catnip tea is an excellent, all-natural way to relax, ease tummy troubles and even fight off a cold or flu. Read more.

Goat Milk Ice Cream Recipe

A goat milk ice cream recipe is a good way to make use of any extra goat milk you may have. Better yet, if you have lactose intolerance issues, goat milk ice cream is a great way to have your ice cream and eat it too. Learn more here.

Bachs Rescue Remedy, an Amazing Way to Ease Stress

Bachs Rescue Remedy is an anxiety homeopathic remedy that will relieve stress and leave you feeling calm with no harmful side effects. This remedy definitely belongs in every self reliant homesteader's medicine cabinet. Read more.

What Are GMO

GMOs are genetically modified organisms, a Frankenstein food that's wreaking a real-life horror on our health, our environment and farm sovereignty. Here are some reasons why you should be buying non gmo foods. Learn more.

Non GMO Foods

If you are aware of the dangers of GMOs, or genetically modified organisms, you may be wondering what are GMO foods. Here are some tips for obtaining foods that don't have GMOs. Learn more.

Compost Tea Making for a Stronger, Healthier, Gardening

Compost tea making can be as complicated, or as simple, as you want it to be, but the bottom line is homemade compost tea will give you a stronger, healthier and more productive garden. Here's how to make compost tea. Read more.

Nutritional Value of Sprouts

The nutritional value of sprouts, and especially if you start growing broccoli sprouts, is invaluable. Read more.

And as always, happy homesteading!

You Can Build a Chicken Tractor

If you’ve ever thought of keeping free range chickens in a chicken tractor, this book is for you! In addition to providing full plans and giving you step by step instructions on how to build your own chicken tractor, this handy guide gives tons of great tips, including great sources of free wood, how to recover your costs by selling chicks, chicken care and egg recipes. Click here to purchase.

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